8 April 2014 | achyutaghosh
Make believe return of the tapori hero
The 90's were all about stereotypes, and Govinda owned this nice little niche- madcap comic, singing, dancing, and mostly family friendly entertainer, playing to the masses. Think Coolie No.1, Saajan Chale Sasural, Hero No.1, and Haseena Maan Jayegi. Helping him create and cement this unique position was David Dhawan, in over 17 movies. And this combination reigned supreme till their creativity dimmed, and other mainstream actors such as Akshay and Salman and directors such as Priyadarshan started experimenting, with results that far superseded Govinda-Dhawan combos.
Audience adulation is notoriously fickle, but today in Bollywood with major stars either playing the action-comedy combination or retaining the strong and silent stereotype, room for the fun and friendly entertainer seems to have opened up again. Daddy Dhawan thinks his son Varun Dhawan fits the bill to a T, and so we have Main Tera Hero. Dhawan plays Seenu, with a penchant for infamy, and with a hot-line with the gods. When he is kicked out of his town, lands in Bangalore and promptly falls in love with Sunayana who everybody is afraid of, since she is the unrequited love of local police goon Angad. This is fairly simplistic so far, so to make it a love triangle, comes in Ayesha, daughter of criminal Vikrant Singhal, who is besotten with Seenu. The rest of the film is vintage David Dhawan fare, with Seenu romancing two girls while trying to extricate himself from the mess.
Like what most director fathers do for their sons, the movie is an unabashed attempt to showcase Varun Dhawan's talents. As the fast talking, naughty Seenu, he is quite spontaneous, and along with Ileana d'Cruz and Nargis Fakhri, they make a glamorous threesome. But he perhaps tries too hard to channelize Salman and Govinda, and as a result, the movie is genuinely funny only in parts, forcefully funny in most. The girls are no Karishma Kapoor, do nothing more than adding oomph. Rajpal Yadav reprises countless Johnny Lever acts from the past, and Anupam Kher does what he can actually do with his eyes closed- funny gangster, loving father. Arunoday Singh is perhaps the only guy trying to break stereotypes here, and is the surprise act. There is a cameo by cult favorite Shakti Kapoor, pity though that it is so short.
So does Main Tera Hero warrant a watch? Yes and no. It is a slapstick, retro 90s style partly comedy with added Western influence. While many among us have outgrown this form of entertainment, I would think it is a one time watch on a rainy day at most. In the recent past there has been others such as Shahid Kapoor, and Ranbir Kapoor who have tried to don the tapori act but failed. Is Varun Dhawan then the new messiah? Yes and no again. He has potential, but is not quite the finished product yet. Given a few more years of experience and a good script, he might be able to establish himself in this niche.